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Re: Panelization of PCB


Hello and thanks to all.

It was interesting to hear all arguments of the specialists.
But one question is open for me. If I let the board panelized in Chine how do I get the data for the placement of the components as I want to do the assembly here . I can not imagine that the Chinese are interested in doing that job for me. Can I do that in Excell and what about the accuracy.

May be I will standby with the panelization project and have a look into PCBNEW and try and get familiar with that part of software. I think there is also a lot of work to be done there.


On 27.06.2012 09:36, Miguel Angel Ajo Pelayo wrote:
This is what they do at *tium :)


You have an special board, which is linked to other boards, and they are repeated in X / Y as you wish, then you add the extra features: fiducials, holding holes, cuts, v-scores, ...,
and dump out the gerbers.

When you change your linked boards then the "panelized" board changes.

I think that this could probably be done in scripting.

2012/6/27 Lorenzo Marcantonio <l.marcantonio@xxxxxxxxxxxx <mailto:l.marcantonio@xxxxxxxxxxxx>>

    On Tue, Jun 26, 2012 at 09:47:14PM +0200, Richard wrote:
    > I tried to download and install the GerbMerg. But I was not able to
    > install it either on my Ubuntu computer nor on a Windows laptop,
    > what made me frustrated as I spent hours trying everything to get it
    > up and running.

    There are a lot of free panelizer around... have you tried *all* of

    > So I thought, it could be a realizable job to do that in GerbView.
    > Can anybody tell me if that is an idea or is that not of interest.
    > Who is responsible for GerbView. Is there something like a quick
    > start guide on what has been done up to now.

    I personally object to adding CAM features to a CAD program...
    panelization is *much more* than just copy and pasting the same board
    over and over (otherwise you'll just need the step and repeat gerber
    command:D). You need to add various kind of coupons (depending on the
    features required), global fiducials, tooling holes, milling/scoring
    routes and so on. Never seen an OSS tool with all the needed
    There is a whole CAM industry out there (I used gerbtool, CAM350
    and our
    fabricator uses genesys2000, for example) and they have *a lot* of
    functions needed beside panelization...

    If I wanted to do such kind of tool I would do a separate executable:
    a mix of gerbv and pcbnew; the gerbv part for importing the
    gerbers, and
    some functions of pcbnew for tooling and so on.

    Alternatively we could add a new kind of object in pcbnew (a
    GerberInstance, for example) that would 'stamp' the plots on the
    board with translation, rotation and flipping (yes, flipping is
    important! it's used both for better use space with asymmetric
    board and
    in some workflow with components on both sides).

    The use case would be like this:
    1) Open pcbnew, new board, draw the *panel* edge on the edge layer;
    2) Put tooling holes, global fiducials and so on (these could be also
      kept on a 'template' panel board)
    3) Define a GerberInstance from the board files (import layers, drill,
      pick and place and maybe IPC356 stuff)
    4) Place this instance as required (array, interlocking patterns, or
    5) Repeat step 3 and 4 as needed if you want to do a multiboard panel;
      it happens more often than you would think (for example: main pcb,
      control panel pcb and maybe a separate power supply)
    6) Add coupons, texts and stuff: drawing them, appending them or as
    7) Plot panel gerbers and drills
    8) Emit IPC356A file containing panelization info (OK, actually
      I haven't finished yet the single board 356 exporter, but the format
      requires subimage separation).

    Without step 8 you'll have some serious testing issue, but if you're
    using a fat board (i.e. clearances and tracks >0.2mm) maybe you could
    avoid testing altogether.

    The only thing missing would be fixing the board borders for scoring,
    rat bites or whichever separation method you'll want to use... sadly
    this would require a full NC editor. However most probably the
    fabricator would help with that, since he need to convert anyway the
    borders to mill cord.

    Lorenzo Marcantonio
    Logos Srl

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Miguel Angel Ajo Pelayo
+34 636 52 25 69
skype: ajoajoajo

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